Leah Lax was raised in a Jewish family in Dallas, Texas, near her immigrant grandparents so that, growing up, she learned both to crochet and ride a horse. Grateful now for second chances, she has published award winning fiction and nonfiction. Her work for stage includes major productions with both Houston Grand Opera (The Refuge, 2007) and the Houston Symphony.
A guitarist, composer, educator, and collaborator, Houston musician George Heathco has played guitar with many of Houston’s leading music and theater organizations, local songwriters and rock/pop bands, and numerous churches and contemporary worship services. He has composed and contributed music for television, radio, theater, jazz and chamber ensembles, and rock/pop acts. In 2016, his setting of Psalm 88 was premiered by Duo Scordatura at Carnegie Hall. Since 2004, he has taught music at levels ranging from general elementary school music to music theory and electronic composition at a tier one university.
Clare Glackin is a composer of instrumental and vocal concert works whose music has been commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera, Aspen Music Festival, Alarm Will Sound, and others. Her music has been performed at the Brevard Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, and Mizzou International Composers Festival. Upcoming projects include a wind ensemble piece to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Mount Vernon High School Band program in 2019. She graduated with a master of music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and a bachelor’s degree from USC’s Thornton School of Music.
Clarinetist and composer Nicholas Davies grew up in Sydney, Australia. As a soloist, he has performed with orchestras throughout the New England area including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and the Boston Youth Symphony. Davies won the Gold Medal in the 2014 Texas Young Artists Competition and performs with the Prismatics Woodwind Quintet. He received the Bronze Medal in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in 2015 and has worked with the Walden Chamber Players for three consecutive years. Last summer, he attended the Aspen Music Festival as the Contemporary Ensemble Fellow. Davies recently graduated from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Southern California.
Composer and pianist Mark Buller has been commissioned by a wide range of organizations, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony, and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. For two years he was a member of the Da Camera of Houston Young Artist Program, which also commissioned a number of chamber works, including the award-winning String Quartet No. 3. Current commissions include a song cycle for baritone and chamber orchestra, a concerto for English horn, a work for solo piano, and several song cycles. His works have also won the Vanguard Voices Choral Composition Competition (for Sicut Cervus, performed at Carnegie Hall) and the Sarofim Composition Award.
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Megan Berti, mezzo-soprano; Wesley Landry, baritone, Bradley Moore
Mary Carol Warwick
Inspired by David W. Burleigh, Tyler R. Mitchell and John Williams
Wesley Landry, baritone, Mark Buller
Mark Buller, Lex Loya
On February 28, 1942, the Battle of Sunda Strait embroiled two ships in a naval battle with the Imperial Japanese Navy. Overboard pays tribute to the fine seamen of the USS Houston and the HMAS Perth. Recognizing the lifesaving friendship between them, this three movement song cycle honor their deaths and the life the survivors managed to live after the war. Commissioned as part of the Veterans Songbook project to be featured in a touring exhibit, Overboard premiered at the Julie Ideson Library on March 1, 2017 and a recording traveled with the exhibit to Australia.